Safety in parks and reserves

It's great to escape everyday life and go for a bushwalk, cycle, drive, camp or just a picnic in national parks and reserves. There are so many places to see and so many activities to do, something for everyone.  

If you plan and prepare before you go it will hopefully be a thoroughly enjoyable experience and you can create some beautiful memories. But you do need to take some precautions in the natural environment. You don’t have to go far before you can be on an isolated track, the weather changes or you encounter wildlife. You need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of anyone else, including children, in your care.

Emergency alerts and warnings

Alerts and warnings for our parks are available from our Alerts menu and are posted on Parks and Wildlife's main website. These and various other emergency alerts and warnings are posted by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the Bureau of Meteorology and the ABC through various digital channels. The ABC also broadcasts warnings on ABC Local Radio.

In an emergency

If urgent emergency assistance is required, emergency services may be contacted by phone on the following numbers -

  • Triple Zero (000) is Australia's primary emergency services number that can be dialled from any fixed or mobile phone, payphone or some Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. All Australian satellite phone service providers offer access to Triple Zero (000). If your provider operates via another country, check access with the provider - do not call Triple Zero (000) to check.
  • It is not possible to connect to emergency services by mobile phone short messaging service (SMS).
  • 106 is a Text Emergency Relay System for those with a hearing or speech impediment. It may only be used from a textphone or teletypewriter (TTY).
  • 112 is the international standard secondary emergency services number that may be used from digital mobile phones only. Reception from an individual service provider, SIM card or PIN number is not required.
  • Install the free Emergency+ app on your mobile phone to help provide location details when you call Triple Zero (000). Ensure your phone is fully charged and location services is turned on.
  • Remember technology coverage is not reliable in many parks and reserves.  Mobile phone coverage may be better from the top of hills. If there is no mobile coverage on any network, you will not be able to reach Emergency Services via a mobile phone.

For more information see

If you are travelling into more remote locations, it is recommended you carry a personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite phone. If you are at the location where urgent emergency help is required and you have an emergency beacon such as a PLB or EPRIB, activate it. For more information see 'Be prepared'.

If you get lost

Whenever you are in parks and reserves, it is always advisable to stay on existing tracks.  If you get lost, stay where you are. You’ll be found sooner if you don’t stray from tracks. If your vehicle breaks down or becomes stuck, stay with your vehicle. A vehicle is much easier to spot from the air than a person.

Risky business - LANDSCOPE magazine

As our desire to return to nature increases and more of us are out enjoying Western Australia's parks and reserves, the number of injuries and, sadly, fatalities is also on the rise. It is more important than ever to break our reliance on technology, know our limits and understand the risks well ahead of taking a step into the outdoors. You can read more about staying safe in WA's parks in the article from LANDSCOPE magazine